Stephen Rowland and Louise Loe 2022

Oxford Archaeology

Trinity Burial Ground, Kingston upon Hull: archaeological investigations in association with the A63 Castle Street Improvement Scheme

Trinity Burial Ground on Castle Street, Kingston upon Hull, was opened in 1785 as an off-site expansion to the small graveyard that has lain around Holy Trinity Church, in the town centre, since the thirteenth century. Authorised by Act of Parliament in 1783, Trinity Burial Ground was one of the first civil institutions to be built beyond the town walls, as the corporation broke the bounds of the medieval defences. The period saw the construction of a succession of purpose-built docks and the rapid expansion of commerce, industry, and population. In 1860, when Trinity Burial Ground was deemed full and closed to further interments, Hull was fast becoming England’s third largest port. Between 2015 and 2021 we undertook several phases of archaeological investigation at the site, with the earliest including a survey and detailed record of hundreds of burial monuments. Comprehensive excavation across 3000m2 (30% of the site) recovered the remains of at least 8791 individuals, representing a broad demographic in varying states of completeness and articulation, plus an extensive assemblage of finds and coffin fittings. This presentation introduces the project, our research aims, and summarises the mass of documentary, osteological, biochemical, artefactual, memorial, stratigraphic, and coffin data recovered. Analysis of the assemblage, the largest from Northern England, is ongoing, and we hope that detailed insights into the past population of Hull – their lives and origins, display of beliefs and identities, as well as how the burial ground was managed and organised, can be provided in futures sessions.


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract